How to Persuade and Influence People: Powerful Techniques to Get Your Own Way More Often by Philip Hesketh
|How to Persuade and Influence People: Powerful Techniques to Get Your Own Way More Often by Philip Hesketh|
|Category: Business and Finance|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A supremely accessible title, this is an easy read with some great tips. Recommended whatever your starting point.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: August 2010|
|Publisher: Capstone Publishing Ltd|
Having just taken up a new management role in a completely new culture, on a completely new continent, I'm well aware that it will be my soft skills, not just my supposed technical expertise, that I'll be relying on for the first few months at least. Thanks to this book, I will be better prepared for the task.
Persuading and Influencing might not be the sexiest topics in the world, but this book tries pretty damn hard to, at the very least, ensure you're engaged enough to keep reading, page after page, chapter after chapter, as they're examined in fine detail. While a lot of the examples are sales-related, the tips and tricks are still applicable to the general business arena, where you're perhaps trying to 'sell' ideas or 'buy' support rather than exchanging tangible goods for cash.
The author has examples from his sales days, from movies (maybe the first time Pretty Woman has been quoted in a management text) and from his family life. He includes a few graphs, but not an insane amount, and for the most part introduces ideas and concepts that I'd not heard elsewhere, with the odd exception (Maslow's work is explained, to prove another point).
Lots of different sections and clear headings make this a user friendly guide. The author is very chatty in his style, and regularly shares personal anecdotes, but far from being over familiar or cringe-worthy, these really make the book stand out as something different from your usual bland management bible. It might not be to everyone's reading taste, but I liked the tone and pace of the book, and enjoyed reading it, and also thought we'd probably get on if we met in person at some kind of business event.
The scenarios are easy to relate too, and often use big brands – like why you might buy Coke not Pepsi, or how Starbucks encourage you to order more with a few subtle words. Because of this, you end up seeing not only how you can influence or persuade others more effectively, but also how you can tell when people are trying to influence or persuade you (and what to do about it).
Any niggles? The author uses a lot of his own acronyms to help you remember things, but since there's not going to be a final exam, I don't think these are all that necessary (or even easy to remember – far too many have an N in them, for example, and how are you supposed to recall that the N in NAIL is Need, but the Ns in NEAT-NEAT are Never and Neutralize?)
I also wasn't a huge fan of the way he told me what was going to happen right before it happened, as in time for Chapter 10 and the L in NAIL. I guess it could have been an attempt to keep you reading, but as I was pushed for time I would end chapter 9 with that comment, and then think, um, no, it's time for me to put the book down and finish it later.
These are only minor quibbles, though. On the whole I thought this was an excellent, thorough book, that gave me a lot of food for thought. It was a lot better than I had thought it would be, too. From the title and cover art, I imagined this would just be another of those ten a penny books that spew management-ese but this clearly wasn't the most common reaction, and while reading it here in Sierra Leone, person after person took it off me to flick through, and asked to borrow it when I was done. It'd have thought a Shopaholic title might be more in demand, but it seems this one may be the most checked out book from our office library when I donate it.
On behalf of the entire population of Freetown, therefore, thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.
For a larger read that covers a wider range of topics, Mintzberg's Management is a pretty comprensive bible.
You can read more book reviews or buy How to Persuade and Influence People: Powerful Techniques to Get Your Own Way More Often by Philip Hesketh at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy How to Persuade and Influence People: Powerful Techniques to Get Your Own Way More Often by Philip Hesketh at Amazon.com.
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